Smoothie Starters and Other Fridge Essentials for Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Smoothie Starters and Other Fridge Essentials for Healthy Smoothie RecipesWhat’s a quick, easy to make breakfast (or snack) that won’t leave a stack of dirty dishes in your sink? Smoothies are nutritious, filling, and portable—which is perfect for an on-the-go mom. There are an endless amount of smoothie recipes available online that cater to a range of tastes (sweet, salty, savory) and feature healthy ingredients. How do you start your smoothie-making habit though, if you’ve never concocted one yourself? Glad you asked—here are a few fridge essentials and basics that will serve as your smoothie-making foundation:

It’s all in the blender

If you do not already own a blender, you’ll want to get one for making smoothies at home. Luckily, you don’t have to buy the top of the line model to make great smoothies. Also take into consideration how many people you’ll be making smoothies for at one time, because if it includes the entire family then you might want a larger model. Easy to clean, powerful enough to crush ice or frozen fruit—those are two key components that make a good blender for smoothies.

The basics – what kind of liquids make a good foundation

Water, milk, almond milk, coconut water, fruit juice—these are all healthy, viable liquid options that make good bases for your smoothies. Since you’re in charge of what to use and how much, you can switch between different bases depending on flavor and thickness preferences. Yogurt and Greek yogurt also make good smoothies if you like a thicker consistency and will keep you full longer. Try to stay away from liquids or yogurts that have additional sugars added to them; you’ll add your own smoothie sweeteners for healthier, tastier results.

Tackling all five food groups in your smoothie

Here’s where experimenting gets fun: you can add all kinds of fruits, veggies, and supplements until you’ve created the perfect smoothie for you. It’s good to keep frozen fruit on hand in the freezer just in case you’ve run out of bananas or it’s winter—berries, peaches, pineapple, and mango slices are found in most grocery stores. Again, pick brands that don’t add sugar to fruit before freezing for healthier results. You can add spinach to get more choline and healthy vitamins without having your smoothie taste too much like a salad. Adding flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed to your smoothie will boost your Omega-3 intake, as well as reduce your risk for breast cancer. Peanut butter makes a great protein source if you’re making a smoothie on your way to work, and will help you stay full longer.

Where’s the sweet stuff?

To replace high fructose corn syrup, try one of these sweeteners that has a lower glycemic index and less calories: honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, or even stevia. With all of the fruit you’re bound to include in your smoothie, follow the “less is more” rule for adding your sweetener of choice.

Fighting Childhood Obesity with Breastfeeding, Healthier School Lunches

Fighting Childhood Obesity with Breastfeeding, Healthier School LunchesWhile the results are still small, new studies suggest that healthier school lunch initiatives are paying off: the American Medical Association recently announced a pronounced drop in obesity rates for children ages 2-5 and more school children have regular access to fruits, veggies, and whole grains in their school lunches.

Obesity rates for children ages 2-5 fell 43% in a span of 8 years (2003-2004 and 2011-2012). While obesity rates remained consistent among other age groups, these findings are encouraging to researchers who have been tracking healthy lunch initiatives. The rise of breastfeeding mothers has also been tapped as a contributing factor in the fight against childhood obesity.

Establishing healthy eating patterns early on will help a child maintain a healthy body weight through adulthood. School lunches, which are stereotypically comprised of fried and sugary offerings, have been slowly transformed into carefully prepared meals that feature fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in appropriate servings. Even though unhealthier options have not been completely banished from cafeterias across the nation, children altogether have direct access to nutritious food regardless of their school district.

Breastfeeding benefits your baby long after they stop nursing; help your child extend these health benefits by making fruits, veggies, and whole grains a part of their daily diet. Schools and parents are beginning to work together and we are hopeful for more improvements as these school lunch reforms continue to take hold.

Feel like you’re constantly fighting with a picky eater? You can enforce non-gadget playtime with your kids to help them stay healthy. According to health and exercise initiatives, kid’s playtime should clock in at about an hour every day, so make sure to visit the playground or sign your child up for a sport. With all of the options available, you’ll be sure to find an activity your child will love. Remember, you can join in on the fun and benefit, too!

Stay happy and healthy, moms and kids!